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Sex -- Study and teaching, Sexuality studies


Teaching puberty to 10-11 year olds and teaching sexuality to 13-18 year olds should be fun. Yet fun is not ordinarily associated with teaching puberty and sex in polite secular American society, let within religious arenas. It may not be polite and there are parental fears that formal sex education has a causal relationship with promiscuity. Yet, when I have asked over the years in my Sexualities class, in my most informal of polls, whether parents have taken a large and/or productive role in teaching sex to their children, the percentages are always very small. Many parents do not know good ways of teaching puberty let alone sexuality and yet oftentimes require permissions slips for it to be addressed in schools.

In this paper, I more directly address the prejudicial perceptions of sex generally and boys’ desires. That is, when sexuality is taught from the point of view of the students and what they want to know, and not only taught from the point of view of adults and what they think students should know the relationships among boys and girls are more cooperative and empathetic.


Presented at the Faculty Favorite Lecture Series, Women’s Studies Department and Women’s Resource Center. Portland State University. Portland, Oregon.

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